27 March 2007

FEATURED BOOK: Frankenstein

What I say:
After wanting to read this book for some months, and being frustrated with other literature I'd purchased I finally went out and bought Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I loved it.

Contrary to popular belief, "Frankenstein" is not the actual monster's name, it is the name of his creator, Victor Frankenstein. This was news to me and gave me a much greater understanding of the whole "Frankenstein's monster" thing. Finally! it all makes sense! Interestingly, it is this confusion which has developed as Frankenstein has grown from 19th century horror-story to 21st century over-done myth -WHO is Frankenstein? - that makes this story so fascinating.

It truly is a comment on the human desire to advance technology, to go blindly into some self-serving venture without considering the possible consequences, and sheds an astonishingly realistic light on the curse of technological, medical and scientific advances, particularly when they are embarked on for selfish reasons.

Frankenstein's single-minded motives for creating a living being blind him from considering the possible drawbacks of creating an eight-foot man and then deserting him. And this proves damning for the once blissfully-happy Victor. Both his and his monster's lives are (eventually, after much tragedy) ruined.

Anyway, I probably sound like I'm rambling, but this really is a fantastically thought-provoking novel. I highly recommend it. It is valuable as a ficticious story in its own right, but it is also a slightly disturbing comment on today's society which makes it ever-more worthy of our readership.

PS. This book was originally deemed to be of the horror genre, but it is much more a tragedy than anything else. Well, that's what I think.

What an interesting review on Amazon says:
In Mary Shelley's novel, there are various statements about the use of science. The field of eugenics is brought into question. The issue of cloning is brought into perspective way before its time. Shelley's novel is prophetic in so many ways for revealing the debates and scientific issues of contemporary times. From the recent FDA consideration of livestock cloning to genetically engineered crops, these controversial issues have been compared to Frankenstein science. Other past scientific innovations such as the use of pesticides like DDT have led to failure and proved dangerous for human civilization. These too were once compared to Frankenstein science, yet humankind persisted on using these chemicals, all for reasons of convenience and capital ambition on the part of corporations involved. We may see Shelley's Frankenstein as the first great scientific warning to humans in an industrial world. It may also be seen as the beginning of environmental awareness. This awareness concerns humans within their own environments such as parent/child relationships and childhood influences, as well as human impact on nature.

Have you read Frankenstein? What did you think?


Anonymous Marcy said...

No, I haven't read Frenkenstein, but I AM doing an ISP on dreams. Did you know that the idea of Frankenstein came to her through a dream?

01 April, 2007 03:08  

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